The Politically Correct Vision of ‘Pope Francis: a Man of His Word’ by Tom Snyder With Ted Baehr

“Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” is a documentary depicting the worldview of Pope Francis on a number of social, spiritual and political issues. Rather than telling Pope Francis’s life story, the documentary takes a philosophical and sometimes political approach.

Director Wim Wenders, a self-professed Christian, starts off by asking some questions about how human beings should spend their lives. Using footage from around the world, Wenders mentions a litany of mankind’s ills, including wars, violence, terrorism, environmental destruction, and poverty. He says Earth will soon have eight billion people in it, with one billion destined to be in dire poverty.

This statistic is false. The number of people “living in extreme poverty” has been decreasing for the last three decades. Also, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the number of hungry people in the world has fallen from about 1.011 billion people in 1990-1992 to 794.6 million in 2012–2014. That doesn’t stop Pope Francis, however, from talking about world poverty as if it were growing.

One of the misleading leftist canards the movie repeats is that 20% of the people in the world own 80% of the world’s wealth.

In the first place, capitalism tends to reduce the amount of poverty in a country. Not only has there been a reduction in poverty in the last three decades, but poverty also has been declining since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, spurred by the advent of capitalism in Great Britain, the United States, Europe, then Asia and elsewhere. In contrast, socialist policies can increase both poverty and income inequality. For example, studies have shown that minimum wage laws reduce the number of jobs and reduce people’s income because businesses under not only replace people with machines but also reduce the hours their employees work. The destruction of Venezuela’s capitalist economy because of utopian socialist mismanagement is just the latest in a long string of socialist failures.

Also, the specific people in the 20% the Pope mentions change over time. Economist Thomas Sowell noted, that after 15 years over 95% of people who start out in the bottom 20% rise out of it and more have reached the top 20% than remain in the bottom 20%. Sowell added that about 10 to 12 percent of the world’s people live in mountain regions, where production is difficult, leading to high levels of poverty. Poverty is particularly common in Sub-Sahara Africa partly because geography—the Sahara Desert and the lack of natural sea ports—make interaction with the rest of the world more difficult, thus limiting trade and capital investment. Finally, Sowell noted, wealth can depend on cultural and demographic differences. Younger populations, like that of many African and Latin American countries, tend, because they’ve had less time to gain productive experience, to be poorer than older ones, like that of Japan.

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Source: Christian Post